Trigger-happy culture counters success

Trigger-happy culture counters success

“It is with disappointment and heavy hearts that we have made the decision to relieve Slaven Bilic of his duties as West Ham United manager,” read a statement from joint-chairmen, David Sullivan and David Gold, as yet another English Premier League (EPL) manager was axed.

Bilic has had a torrid start to the season; his side have registered a paltry 9 points from a possible 33 in the season thus far, leaving them nestling in the relegation zone.

The Croatian manager becomes the fourth manager to receive the boot this season. Other managerial casualties include Ronald Koeman (from Everton), Frank de Boer (from Crystal Palace) and Craig Shakespeare (from Leicester City).

With just over a quarter of the season having elapsed, the managerial toll in England’s premier league at a disturbing 20%. It begs the question, does being trigger-happy at the managerial level positively impact the club?

The firing of managers for underwhelming results in what has increasingly become an economic premier league has seen 215 managers hired and relieved in two decades, from 1995 to 2015, defying the age-old adage; stability nurtures success.

It has been very-well documented that football is a result-oriented business, with the final score and points, more often than not, outweighing the performance. And unfortunately for managers, who seem to carrying their cross everywhere they go, the turnover it is at its highest.

Instant success is worryingly become the currency of the EPL, with owners – in a bid to reverse fortunes – are sometimes prematurely calling time on managerial careers. And the repercussions of that are employing new personnel to inherit the resources left behind by his predecessor and vaguely fulfill a club goal with via limited means. Not always is that a winning formula.

Everton, having shelled out £140 million under the former manager now require temporary-man-in-charge, David Unsworth, to fulfill some of the club’s goals. This, while being compromised not only by the players available to him but having to re-establish a tactical plan and getting players to unlearn and learn the desired approaches.

Football however goes beyond statistics; both, Koeman and Bilic were sacked. However, if online reactions are anything to go by, there seemed to be more dismay at the former’s sacking as opposed to the latter – despite Everton recording one point less than West Ham United at the time of Koeman’s dismissal. Perhaps the reaction was merited, given only one of the two managers had spent in excess of £100 million in what was a busy transfer window.

At the current rate of dismissals, the future looks bleak for managerial aspirants who will soon be swapping allegiance as frequently as they embark on holidays. And unfortunately, due to the mind-boggling financial figures involved and ultra-riches the league has to offer, there may be no stopping this inorganic trend.


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  1. Yes true…Managerial jobs have become as ‘casual’ as it can get, you dont know when a bad run of defeats could end up leading to loosing the job.
    Everton & now West Ham without manager..No denial that many options for WHY available, but as a club what are their targets??? today Bilic tomorrow could be Moyes if appointed (lol) could be axed not knowing where the club lies / it’s objectives…
    Having said unless you have an Arsenal brain then stick to your Gaffer whether results are in favour or not..

    • Arsene Wenger’s loyalty and board backing over the years has been phenomenal. There is no doubt he is part of a dying breed of one-club individuals. In truth, not many have managed that.

  2. Who is to blame for the performances of the teams mentioned above?it’s not only the coach at fault..maybe the players should also be partly blamed..maybe a reduction in their allowances will trigger better results for the team..a new manager MIGHT make a difference but the players are the ones on the pitch

    • Very true. Players are also responsible for results. After all, they are on the pitch. The manager deploys a game plan. It is up to the players to execute it and alter their approaches should tactics change through the game.

  3. While I don’t necessarily agree with the firing of managers so early on in the season I think that it’ probably the best time to do it for club owners. New managers get a chance to review their new squads and prepare a transfer strategy to strengthen in the January transfer market. Also, I don’t know if it’s purely coincidental or not, nowadays when a new man is at the helm, their first games bring positive results like Shakespeare’s first few games, Puel, Unsworth (to an extent) and even Klopp when they got rid of Rodgers.

    • Thanks for your feedback. It is rather interesting an observation. Perhaps a change at the helm raises spirits and changes the ambience at the club. Or like you said, coincidence.

  4. Admittedly, this approach does work to an extent for certain clubs like Chelsea and Watford. Chelsea have been able to enjoy tremendous amounts of success and it’s a revolving door of managers up there. Watford, more recently have consolidated their position among the mid-table sides and pushing to get into the top 10 with Silva guiding them.

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